Traveling, Sound Healing and the Challenge of Chaos

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THE PACKING BOOK: SECRETS OF THE CARRY-ON TRAVELER, by Judith Gilford, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA, 2006) $12.95

Whether you are trekking at high altitudes, spending three weeks in European museums, traveling with kids or on an overnight business trip with displays, handouts and a laptop, Judith Gilford shows you how to pack everything in a single, manageably sized suitcase with an optional second bag. Focusing on carry-on travel because it is easy, convenient and popular, The Packing Book bulges with details and tips to keep your luggage lean. Explaining the pros and cons of luggage styles, the long-lasting luggage fabrics versus the knock-offs adequate only for infrequent travel, Gilford reveals the size of carry-on luggage that will fit on virtually any plane. Just in case the airline makes your gate check your bag, Gilford suggests carrying a folded nylon bag in order to remove the valuables from your luggage before releasing it. To keep you looking good no matter your destination, she teaches you how to stick to a color scheme and even how to remove wrinkles without an iron. If you are traveling in warm climates take a lip pencil (it won’t melt like lipstick) and consider wearing garment protectors to avoid perspiration on shirts and reduce the need to launder. Covering everything from water purifiers to online storage of travel documents and detailing her revolutionary "bundle method" of packing that prevents wrinkling, The Packing Book prepares you for stress-free travel in this brief, easy to read and indispensable book.

SOUND HEALING WITH THE FIVE ELEMENTS: SOUND INSTRUMENTS, SOUND THERAPY, SOUND ENERGY, by Daniel Perret, Binkey Kok (Red Wheel/ Weiser, Boston, MA 2005) $19.95

Whether banging on clay flower pots to work on issues of insecurity, playing a flute to bring more joy into your life, or listening to wind chimes to overcome close-mindedness, sound penetrates every level of our being and offers a temporary window for healing. While both music therapists and sound healers work with experimental improvisations, only healers consciously observe and affect the subtle bodies of the client. Working with the Greek-Indian five element system of earth, water, fire, air and space, Daniel Perret, a practicing music therapist and sound healer with more than two decades of study in transpersonal psychology and spiritual healing, reveals how to use sound to activate energy blocks in preparation for release. Thus, Perret ushers in transformation using easy-to-play instruments that facilitate self-expression and sidestep any lack of musical ability. Far more than simply listening to a CD of healing sounds, Perret focuses on determining the specific change you desire and what indicators will reveal your success. Rather than working with specific frequencies or elements of sound, Perret harnesses sound to affect specific locations in the energy field though a variety of techniques including: playing musical improvisations, receiving a sound bath, participating in a sound ritual, and invoking lucid trance to a CD. Using the five elements as a structure to build a bridge between the human being and music, between the inner and outer worlds, Perret helps you to "unite heaven and earth within you."

FACING A WORLD IN CRISIS: WHAT LIFE TEACHES US IN CHALLENGING TIMES, by Jiddu Krishnamurti, Shambala Publications (Boston, MA, 2005) $13.95

"We have enough knowledge to bring about a happy world, where we can all have food, clothing, shelter, no ghettos, but that is denied because thought has separated itself as the me and the you." This separation of identity between us and them is the basis of nationalism, racism, sexism, all the "isms" that lead to wars and have brought us to our current world crisis, according to J. Krishnamurti. Facing a World in Crisis, two series of talks by Krishnamurti presented in 1972 and 1985, offers his take on the personal as political through the investigation of the central problem of human existence: thought. If thought is the problem, then it is a "psychological revolution" that is necessary, one in which the mind is freed from its conditioning and the "pollution of civilization." To begin this work, this challenging spiritual teacher of Eastern philosophy asks the reader to "spend a little time inquiring how deeply we are secondhand, how deeply we accept what others say, and repeat it," taking it as authority. With a dialogue style in which he debunks even his own authority as the speaker, this grounded mystic asks the listener to take nothing of what he says as truth, instead he offers only questions for the listener to answer on their own. For those new to Krishnamurti, his meandering yet focused discourses may at first perplex as the mind struggles against his deconstruction of reality, but if your goal is to open you mind, Krishnamurti remains required reading.

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